GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 17th Feb. Lord Rami Ranger, a prominent member of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords, said on Friday that the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “unfortunate, ill-timed, and ill-informed” because it is based on a handful of people who have narratives that cast him in a negative light.
In an interview, Lord Rami Ranger also slammed George Soros over his remarks on Hindenburg-Adani row and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said the billionaire Hungarian-American investor has been a “attention seeker”.
He stated that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) should not stymie the growing relationship between India and the UK.
He referred to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) clean chit to the former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots case.
Lord Rami Ranger CBE, Baron of Mayfair, House of Lords, stated that he had previously written to BBC regarding the documentary.
“That was a very unfortunate, ill-timed and ill-informed documentary totally based on a handful of people who are anti-Modi. They went all the way to get Arundhati Roy, who has never been pro-India, pro-Modi, pro-government — to get a few people like that to have their narrative, to show Mr Modi in a bad light. But I have written a letter where I said you have no right to bring out those documents you made when Prime Minister had been vindicated,” he said.
“All the courts cleared him – Supreme Court and everything – and then he won two elections that show the popularity. But unfortunately, the success of Mr Modi, the success of India is not palatable to so many people. BBC, as you know, has always been known to bring news from abroad for the home audience for a feel-good factor…this time, this is no longer that India which will take things lying down,” he added.
Lord Rami Ranger hoped that the BBC would learn from its mistakes and that it would not work in a way that would harm bilateral ties between India and the United Kingdom.
“There is a robust reaction in India on BBC. I hope they will learn their lesson. We are trying to have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two great countries, we are collaborating with each other not only in the economy but also in defence. We are much closer than anyone else. That (BBC documentary) should not stir up negative feelings. The BBC should not work in a direction that will affect relations between India and the United Kingdom.”
The central government had last month issued directions for blocking YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’.
The Ministry of External Affairs had termed it a “propaganda piece”, saying it reflected a “colonial mindset”.
Lord Rami Ranger slammed George Soros for remarks at the Munich Security Conference in which he claimed that the stock woes of business tycoon Gautam Adani would weaken PM Modi. Mr Soros had also talked about “democratic revival”.
According to the UK MP, as India’s economy grows, there is a risk of jealousy and animosity.
“When you are rising, progressing, you attract jealousy and animosity. PM Modi is doing so much, he is respected the world over. He will be attracting some criticism from somewhere. This is accepted. There is a proverb — if you cross a river, you cannot avoid a few splashes…So PM Modi and India, from time to time, people will come, find something negative just to put India down. India is a robust democracy, Indian people are very strong,” Mr Ranger said.
“This is expected. This is one way of getting attention. George Soros right from the very beginning — has been an attention-seeker. If you feel you are so clever, so intelligent, why don’t you fight an election and become an elected member of some parliament or government of Hungary, which is not doing so well?” he added.
He stated that what PM Modi is doing is something that even 100 George Soros cannot do.
“To sit on an arm-chair and make prophecies and comment is a bit rich because there is a lot more to it than making money…. running a diverse country like India with 1.4 billion people, so many religions, so many cultures, so many races, to bring them to a level where they can realize their potential, they can realize their dream. What PM Modi is doing, even 100 George Soros can’t do,” Lord Rami Ranger said.
“That is a fact, there are a lot of millionaires, and billionaires in India, probably richer than George Soros but they are not as third class as George Soros for interfering in democratically elected… a country which is well respected throughout the world and is making a very positive contribution. It is a beacon for developing countries. Indian leaders are influencing the globe. I think it (Soros’ remarks) was not called for. George Soros should stick to making money,” he added.
Lord Rami Ranger also praised India’s growing global political clout.
“This is not twenty years-ago India. Economically India is the fifth largest economy, soon to be number four, number three. Not only is India progressing, but Indians are also contributing to global development – doctors, accountants, engineers, businessmen, and politicians of Indian origin are shaping the modern world.”
He stated that the world cannot forget India’s contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and its role in vaccine supply.
“How much contribution India made, and how poor countries could afford the vaccine, Thanks to production in India.”
He stated that the proposed Free Trade Agreement will benefit both India and the United Kingdom.
In response to a question, he stated that Indians living abroad are proud of India’s progress.
“If your motherland is doing well, you are doing well that’s the combination, icing on the cake.”
Lord Rami Ranger praised the agreement under which Air India will purchase 250 planes from Airbus and up to 290 planes from Boeing as part of its growth strategy.
“We salute PM Modi, he is a gift to this great country,” he said, adding that the Civil Aviation deal has been widely noticed and has been lauded by leaders including US President Joe Biden.
Biden stated that the sale will support over one million American jobs in 44 states and will assist Air India in meeting India’s growing demand for air transportation.
“That’s the power of India today because of PM Modi’s vision, it’s driving India’s growth and its economy and is gaining respect across the world,” Lord Rami Ranger added.